Summary: Motivation from Christ’s miracles.
Miraculous Reasons to Follow Jesus
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - July 7, 2002
*Apollo astronaut Jim Lovell told about one of the most frightening times in his life. He was returning from a combat mission and couldn’t find his aircraft carrier. It was night and the carrier lights were off due to the combat conditions. Lovell’s navigation equipment was of no use because they were under total radio silence.
*Jim desperately turned on his map light to see if he could calculate his position, but suddenly an electrical short caused all of the lights to go out. It was then that he saw it in the darkness. There was an eerie glow in the water -- And Jim knew that it was the glow of tiny sea plankton caused by the wake of a passing ship. All he had to do was follow the glow like a highway to the ship. (1)
*I don’t believe that was an accident. God caused that electrical short at just the right time for Jim Lovell to see the light in the water. But God has given us a much greater Light to follow -- Jesus Christ! We can see His light in these verses of Scripture. And the more we see it, the more we want to follow Him.
1. Follow Jesus first, because He is the God of moral miracles.
*Vs. 38 reminds us of His moral miracles, because it says that Jesus “went around doing good. . .” In fact, He was perfect! The Son of God became a man, and lived the only perfect life the world will ever see.
*Sometimes this can be a source of pessimism for us. We look at Jesus and see perfection. Then we look at ourselves and see problems. Sometimes the harder we try, the worse we seem to do. Chuck Swindoll wrote a book about this called “Three Steps Forward and Two Steps Back.”
*Ashley Brilliant once said that “coping with difficult people can be tough -- Especially if the difficult person is yourself.” (2)
*Sometimes we are the difficult people. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy, and it only seems worse when we compare ourselves to Someone who is perfect. Imagine having to grow up in the same home as Jesus. I can hear His little brothers or sisters saying, “That goody-two-shoes never does anything wrong!”
*Jesus’ perfection can be a source of pessimism, but it should be a source of possibility and persuasion. Because He was perfect, the Lord was able to take the punishment for our sins and rise again from the dead. Now we have the possibility of a brand new life through Jesus. He can work moral miracles in our lives. When you receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, you are spiritually born again, and His Holy Spirit comes to live in your heart to help you live this new life.
*Peter experienced the Lord’s moral miracles in his own life, and Peter needed those miracles, because he knew all about failure and discouragement. Peter had denied Jesus three times before the Lord’s crucifixion. Then after Jesus rose from the dead, He met Peter on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, and Peter sat down to a fish breakfast cooked by God!
*After they ate, the Lord asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” Why did Jesus do that? -- Not to discourage Peter, but to bring the problem to the surface and deal with it, to give Peter a new sense of direction, to persuade him of the possibilities.
*See -- the God who was able to live a perfect life, is able to help us live more and more in obedience to Him! Jesus can...
-Take lust out and put love in.
-Make a prostitute pure.
-Make an alcoholic sober.
-Give courage to a coward.
-Give wisdom to a fool.
-Make a crooked man straight.
-Wash away hatred, anger, envy and pride.
*With God, all things are possible!
*Did you see the story in the Baptist Message about the two seminary students in New Orleans, who stopped at a local grocery store? It happened years ago, and one of the students was Don Wilton.
*In the store they noticed a scruffy looking couple with a baby dressed only in a diaper. God’s Spirit moved the students in a special way, and they decided to open their wallets and give the family all the money they had.
*Don rolled up more than $200 in bills, then he sneaked up behind the barefoot man, stuck the roll in the man’s back and told him not to turn around.
*With a gentle voice, Don spoke to the frightened man and said, “My friend, you don’t know who I am. But I want you to know that there is another man and I here tonight who love the Lord Jesus Christ. He has done something for us that we cannot do for ourselves. Because of Him, we just want to give to you something from the two of us.”